While Nigerians eagerly await President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision, the rumor of a proposed elongation of tenure for the present Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, by the President has become one of the most widely discussed topics in Nigeria. It has become the talk of town and many arguments have ensued on the purported plan with some describing as being ‘neither reasonable nor feasible’.
The Inspector-General, Ibrahim Kpotum Idris, who was enlisted as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police in 1984, was due for voluntary retirement on January 3rd, 2019 and will be 60 years of old by January 15th, 2019.
Not a few Nigerians have raised eyebrows against the perceived tenure elongation. Foreign individuals, groups , Civil Liberty Organizations and opposition parties have also lent voices. Those looking at if from a constitutional angle have described it as illegal and an affront to Nigeria’s revered constitution. To the politically inclined however, it is a calculated attempt to rig the forthcoming general elections.
Checks revealed that some officers of the Nigeria Police Force are also not favourably disposed to the tenure elongation idea. “It is surprising that President Muhammadu Buhari may even be thinking of any extension of service for a man who has been committing blunders in the Nigeria Police as an institution and in policing Nigeria as a nation, both administratively and operationally since the inception of his tenure in office”, an officer disclosed to The Anchor Online.
Findings have also revealed that a group of “Concerned Police Personnel” is set to protest the tenure elongation if it eventually happens. The argument of the officers is that the Inspector-General has been found wanting in so many areas. To them, getting a replacement shouldn’t be difficult, especially with the many knowledgeable officers at the top echelon of the Force.
They were quick to point out that IGP Idris disobeyed a direct presidential order when President Buhari directed him to move to Benue and Nasarawa on operations.
It was also on record that his tenure as IG witnessed many protests including protests by police personnel in the North East and some via petitions to the Presidency and the Police Service Commission.
Some police officers also alleged that under the present Inspector-General, the Police Force turned to a “business hub” where postings of officers and men became items for sale, something they said was ‘highly disgusting’.
Nepotism, favouritism and tribalism which created cracks in the police also allegedly became the order of the day after the IG resumed duties.
The concerned officers also alleged that some officers realized huge sums of money from incessant and abnormal promotions, many of which were allegedly for sale under the present Inspector-General.
Administrative procedures and protocols in the Nigeria Police Force have allegedly been killed. “This has collapsed all the systems in the police high command and across board”, the officers alleged. It was also said that for some time now, the IG has not been having management meetings with his team.
While alleging that police duties have become more cumbersome as a result of the commercialization of opportunities and replacing right with wrongs, some of the officers expressed surprise that the president can think of extension of service for IGP Idris despite the complaints from different quarters about the IGP and his style.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed argued on a national television program recently that the former President, Olusegun obasanjo did extend the tenure of his IGPs, an indication that an extension might be on the way for the incumbent Inspector-General.
The Minister’s argument is being debated on with some saying precedence has already been laid while to some others, the move could be seen as promoting illegality especially as such extension by President Obasanjo generated criticisms from far and near. Those opposing Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s argument stressed that a government that came with a promise of “change” should not toe such line, especially if it is keen on protecting its integrity and the repositioning of Nigeria.
Not a few police officers have opined that “the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris should be allowed to retire honorably and celebrated with a befitting pull out parade to show appreciation for whatever the president thinks he has done good for this country”.